back to article Raspberry Pi signs big-name sellers

Educationally inclined microcomputer maker Raspberry Pi today revealed that its ARM-based credit card-sized machine is to be taken to coders worldwide by two big-name suppliers. Lining up to offer the tiny machine come RS Components, part of London Stock Exchange-listed Electrocomponents Plc, and Premier Farnell's Element 14, …

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  1. Number6

    And Splat!

    Guess whose websites have fallen over under load?

    1. Synonymous Howard

      Re: And Splat!

      Indeed .. I understand the 6am start now .. although at this rate the time for the "initial interest" to fall off might be longer than a few hours and so "real customers" of RS + Farnells might be a bit peeved if they can't get on from 9am 8-(

      I've only been able to "register an interest" on RS which seems to be the wrong page anyway.

      1. Michael
        FAIL

        Re: Re: And Splat!

        Yep, very pissed off I can't get on to either to order components.

    2. Anomalous Cowturd
      Meh

      Re: And Splat!

      Spoke to RS Components, was told it's pre-order only. On sale from 5th March...

      Spoke to Eben Upton, he was surprised, but assured me that mass production will be under way shortly. Time frame two weeks. (Sorry about that early call Dr. Upton)

      Shame about the lost sleep, and the worn out F5 key...

      1. Pete 2 Silver badge

        Never trust a publicity junkie

        So what todays events boil down to? The announcement we were advised to "buy an alarm clock" for is simply to tell us that there will be 2 companies selling the "B" model, at some point in the future. And if we wish, and if we can get onto the thoroughly slashdotted websites, we can put our names on a waiting list.

        The Raspberry Pi people have certainly achieved their goal of creating the maximum amount of media buzz about their (still unavailable) product, I can't help wondering if that media frenzy is all it will be remembered for.

        Although the technically minded are in no doubt that this is merely an embedded component that, with a lot of work *could* be integrated into some future products, the lay press is pushing it as a "$35 computer" [ ref: cbc.ca ] and this seems to be with the consent and tacit approval of the designers / pushers, themselves. Given that the first run is a trifling 10,000 units and the amount of (misdirected) interest is sufficient to kill 2 commercial websites for some hours I can't help wondering if the sheer volume of publicity has been somewhat over the top.

        In 6 months, when the hype has died down and several thousand tinkerers have bought one of these - only to wonder, when a circuit board drops through their letter boxes what the hell they're supposed to do now - what will be the end result? A few will have turned into the sort of apostles that Sinclair's early computers produced, but most will realise they have neither the time or skills to use it, nor the need for one . Then, and only then will some actual worthwhile products start appearing that are based on RPi circuitry. But they'll be deeply embedded in a domestic appliance and nobody will even be aware of it's origins.

        That's the true destiny of embedded electronics. To be so good that it becomes invisible. if it does succeed, few will (therefore) know and most will simply not care - just so long as it works.

        1. James Hughes 1

          @Pete 2

          You seem to have spectacularly missed the point. This is a fully functional Linux machine, not an Arduino knock off. Its not just an embedded component as you seem to think. (although it could be used as such).

          Interestingly, the Foundation itself hasn't done much of its own advertising - just occasional press release about stuff they have done - it's almost solely word of mouth to get to this stage, which makes me think there is a real demand for a device like this. As shown by the sales sites collapsing.

          1. Tom 38 Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: @Pete 2

            A fully functioning linux machine……… with binary blobs necessary to control the interesting parts.

          2. Pete 2 Silver badge

            Re: @Jason

            > This is a fully functional Linux machine, not an Arduino knock off

            Stop!

            Take a deeeeeep breath and check out the spec. of this CIRCUIT BOARD.

            Essentially you're getting a 700MHz ARM processor, 256MB memory, ethernet, SD card, Wifi, HDMI and sound. This isn't a "fully functional Linux machine" it's the computing core of a cheap tablet. (Though I doubt there are many tablets with sub 1GHz CPUs being designed these days).

            In fact, the product up for grabs isn't even an embedded component. It's the development hardware for a company to embed RPi developed (open source) hardware into it's own designs. Expect companies like TV makers to take a look at this and then decide that there may be a few usable ideas - or that it would have been cutting-edge 2 years ago, but their own internal developments are already way ahead of this hardware.

            1. Pete 2 Silver badge

              Re: Re: @Jason

              Doops, sorry - should've been @James Hughes 1

            2. The BigYin
              FAIL

              Re: Re: @Jason

              RaspPi != Beagle Board.

              Unless you can show me a Beagle running Fedora/Debain, playing Quake and video.

              I will agree it lacks peripherals (e.g. keyboard) as standard, but these are basic USB units that are easy to add.

            3. Cazzo Enorme

              Re: Re: @Jason

              Pete2, you clearly don't know what you're talking about. I have worked on embedded stuff, and still have an interest in it (hence the FriendlyARM board sat on the desk next to me). The Pi is a fully functioning computer, offering more functionality than most embedded boards. It is also dramatically cheaper than any roughly equivalent embedded development board that I'm aware of.

            4. Giles Jones Gold badge

              Re: Re: @Jason

              It's 700Mhz but an old ARM core too. But it's perfectly fast enough for teaching kids to program on (although I still don't see why they need external hardware to do that).

              1. JoshOvki

                @Giles Jones

                To give enough access to kids on a networked machine to be able to program as much as they can on the Pi would be incredibly risky, and problematic. Much easier with separate devices.

        2. Adrian Jones
          FAIL

          Re: Never trust a publicity junkie

          It never ceases to amaze me how people spout off with righteous indignation while getting all their facts wrong.

          The Pi went on sale today. Farnell sold out of them in about 15 minutes. RS for some reason didn't start selling. (I'm not sure what they think a "launch" is, but they royally cocked up."

          The Pi has a processor, GPU, memory, storage, HDMI output, USB ports and a network port. It runs GNU/Linux. How does this not make it a computer?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Never trust a publicity junkie

          Don't feed the twat..... sorry, I mean troll.

          Actually no, I think I was right the first time.

        4. moonface

          Re: Never trust a publicity junkie

          "Given that the first run is a trifling 10,000 units."

          Bit unfair for criticising them for that. Apparently, they could only afford to produce the amount, which the banks were willing to lend them.

          If you need to blame someone. Blame the bankers and not the raspberry Pi guys.

          1. James Hughes 1

            @Pete 2

            I tried to explain, but you obviously have no idea and will not accept the facts. I've got one, it's works just like my desktop Linux box - albeit a bit slower and with LXDE not Unity.

            1. Pete 2 Silver badge

              Re: @Pete 2

              > you obviously have no idea

              I have a very clear idea (though I don't own a RPi). While it can run Linux, that doesn't make a device a computer. My TV runs linux, but it's still only a TV. I have mini-ITX boards that sit on a bench and host Linux/Windows off a n/v RAM module - but they're not "computers" either - even though they run "just like my desktop Linux box".

              The RPi is simply a component, in that it's uncased, cannot work without additional, non-bundled, hardware and is being sold to developers rather than to domestic users as an appliance in its own right.

              1. The BigYin
                Mushroom

                Re: Re: @Pete 2

                "My TV runs linux, but it's still only a TV."

                No...I think you'll find that it's a computer. Perhaps knobbled and DRM'd to hell, but a computer nonetheless.

                "I have mini-ITX boards that sit on a bench and host Linux/Windows off a n/v RAM module - but they're not "computers" "

                Err...yeah, they are. Windows is a general-purpose OS and (depending on the distro) so is GNU/Linux.

                "The RPi is simply a component, in that it's uncased"

                And the RaspPi peolpe have been hiding that fact under a rock have they? I disagrree on the "component". The CPU is a component. The USB controller is a component. The NIC is a component. Stick 'em all together (plus a few others) whatcha got? A computer!

                "cannot work without additional, non-bundled, hardware"

                Again - have they hid this fact from anyone. At all? If I unplug my keyboard, monitor etc from this desktop unit, does it cease to be a computer in your little world? How about the server which has or peripherals directly connected at all. Maybe I am hallucinating the fact it's perfectly functional (it came without media too).

                "and is being sold to developers rather than to domestic users as an appliance in its own right."

                Oh riiiiight. So just becaue geeks buy it, it's not a computer. FFS. A "computer" cover way more devices that an OEM beige box with bundled crap.

                Stop digging that hole, it's in danger of collapse.

              2. blcollier

                Re: Re: @Pete 2

                I should know better than to feed the trolls, but let's look up the definition of the word "computer" shall we?

                "A computer is a programmable machine designed to automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem. An important class of computer operations on some computing platforms is the accepting of input from human operators and the output of results formatted for human consumption."

                (Thanks Wikipedia)

                Now, what makes up a normal desktop computer that you have on your desk? It'll have: a motherboard, a CPU, some form of GPU, a storage device, a case and peripherals. These are all components, yet do they not comprise what you would call "a computer"? The difference with the RasPi is that all these components - storage and USB peripherals aside - are built into one single board. Plug in a monitor, keyboard, mouse and an SD card with an OS loaded on it, and it will work exactly the same as any other desktop Linux machine. Or for that matter, any other computer at all - just with different software. The GPIO pins are merely an added bonus; it means that it *can* be used as an embedded device, but that's not the primary purpose. You can use a small form-factor x86 computer as an embedded device, if you really wanted to.

                This *is*, without any shadow of doubt, a fully-functional computer, in exactly the same way that the great hulking thing on my (and your) desk is. It might not have a case or any bundled peripherals, but the people who are buying and pre-ordering now aren't going to give a hoot about that. When it goes on more general release later in the year, it will have: a case, an SD card pre-loaded with an OS, a power supply, etc, etc...

              3. 1Rafayal
                FAIL

                Re: Re: @Pete 2

                I saw all your answers and LOL'd hard.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Never trust a publicity junkie

          And more proof of why it is never a good idea to put engineers or geeks in charge of a company.

          Despite numerous, "We are not a bunch of amateurs: We know what we are doing", claims it has been one cockup after another; all of which they should have seen coming. Now things are in the hands of established companies the situation will hopefully improve but early indications are they are little better themselves.

          Perhaps it is not more programmers Britain needs but more people with business management skills?

          1. The BigYin
            Facepalm

            Re: Re: Never trust a publicity junkie

            "Now things are in the hands of established companies the situation will hopefully improve but early indications are they are little better themselves."

            Actually....that's when they went down the toilet. I have vision of various RaspPi people slapping their foreheads and saying "Told you so".

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re: Never trust a publicity junkie

            "Perhaps it is not more programmers Britain needs but more people with business management skills?"

            One thing the UK certainly needs is fewer AC twats.

        6. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Never trust a publicity junkie

          "In 6 months, when the hype has died down and several thousand tinkerers have bought one of these - only to wonder, when a circuit board drops through their letter boxes what the hell they're supposed to do now - what will be the end result?"

          There are currently well over 300,000 Arduinos out there. Presumably, your comment applies to them too.

          I'm also not sure what your problem with the "$35 computer" tag is. There are smaller computers and there are cheaper computers and there are more open computers and there are more powerful computers, but this particular computer seems to resonate with a very enthusiastic segment of the population.

          1. James Hughes 1

            @Pete 2

            I'm still trying to get over the fact that Pete 2 seems to have a different definition of the word computer to the rest of the planet.

            Is it worth continuing to try and get it through his undeniably thick head this is actually a computer? I think not.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: @Pete 2

              Forget @Pete 2, he is @Pete Tong.

              And he knows it, just can't admit it.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: And Splat!

                Just got one on back order from Farnell. Even with the VAT it's a bit of a steal.

                Also ordered a brightly coloured Crayola kids' keyboard and they're (helpfully) switching off the analogue signal here next month so we have a spare telly in the house. I'm very excited to see how my three year old gets on with it.

                Hopefully the bundled software will have enough functionality without needing to resort to plugging in a mouse or a trackpad. Those paradigms seem to be rapidly going the way of the dinosaur, but I guess it won't matter too much in the grand scheme of things.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm guessing RS has

    But I *know* Farnell is broken.

    I quite like the idea of selling (and arranging manufacturing) thru RS and Farnell.

    As an occasional Farnell customer I know their website is a bit clunky at the best of times, so this morning's collapse probably isn;'t a surprise to any frequent Farnell user.

    I'm not buying one yet, too many other things on, but I'll be there later in the year.

    Well done the Razzies!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm guessing RS has

      Farnell Ireland site was still up at approx 10am.

      Not sure if they would deliver to all of UK, but managed to order one to be sent to "the North of".

      More expensive VAT and a delivery date of April mind.

  3. moonface
    Happy

    big-name sellers

    Never would have guessed by their website. Should have stayed in bed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: big-name sellers

      They are a big name in the industry segment they sell to.

      That isn't the consumer-drone segment BTW.

      1. moonface
        Unhappy

        Re: Re: big-name sellers

        I know exactly who they are. I am just a frustrated consumer drone whose worn out their F5 key and has had too little sleep.

      2. Giles Jones Gold badge

        Re: Re: big-name sellers

        Just waiting for Maplin to sell it at twice the price.

        1. Marty
          Coat

          Re: Re: Re: big-name sellers

          "Just waiting for Maplin to sell it at twice the price."

          and for maplin, that would be a clearance price....

  4. JoshOvki
    Thumb Up

    Fantastic little device

    It is a shame that both of the sites have fallen over! I am glad the RaspberryPi Foundation decided not to try and sell them through there own market place, or it would spend too much time down.

  5. Renato
    Unhappy

    RS & Farnell

    Bad news for me :(

    Unfortunately Farnell has a local distributor in Brazil, so I expect no availability on a reasonable timeframe, high prices and OK shipping cost.

    RS has no boards available on its Finnish/international distributor (whose website is up and running), but there is no information about shipping and probably they would ship by courier only, which means outrageous shipping cost + heavy customs duty.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is worse than the Touchpad £99 sale and I still haven't managed to order one.

    Only "registered my interest" in RS but RPi now say it's not right..

    This be a lesson to all purveyors of interesting products, never claim your supplier's websites are "bulletproof"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They probably are bullet proof...

      ...just not traffic proof.

    2. The BigYin
      FAIL

      Epic PR disaster

      1) RS don't tell you which model you are registering an interest for

      2) Farnell list the model B under two different prices (and seems to be 20% more expensive than RS)

      3) Farnell will let you buy up to 10 (so much for one customer, one board)

      4) The units are available to be shipped

      5) This was not a launch, just a licensing deal (which means higher prices for the consumer) and could have just gone out as a PR piece.

      RaspPi - you screwed the pooch totally on this one. After such good work on hype and tease, you come out with this?

      1. James Hughes 1

        @Bin Yin

        Sorry, gotta correct a few bits..

        2) Prices should be exactly as advertised for the last 9 months - $25 and $35. (although Model A now has 256MB ram)

        3) Farnell's agreement says they are only allowed to sell 1 board per person of this batch. If you can buy more then Farnell have made a mistake, not the Foundation.

        5) This is a launch. By what definition is it not a launch?

        1. The BigYin

          Re: @Bin Yin

          "2) Prices should be exactly as advertised for the last 9 months - $25 and $35. (although Model A now has 256MB ram)"

          Sorry, wrong. Farnell is now £26.55 (US$42). Tax may be payable on top of that.

          (Their site is currently off-line)

          "3) Farnell's agreement says they are only allowed to sell 1 board per person of this batch. If you can buy more then Farnell have made a mistake, not the Foundation."

          Their site allows 10+ orders.

          "5) This is a launch. By what definition is it not a launch?"

          Both sites only allow pre-orders. Their site makes that perfectly clear "Model going into production immediately". Not built, can't be sold, not a launch. End of.

          1. James Hughes 1

            Re: Re: @Bin Yin

            With regard to launch - the first batch HAS been built, and is currently shipping to the distributors. The reference to immediate production is for subsequent batches.

            Farnell price includes shipping, so $35 + $7 shipping is about £26.55.

            I'll check on the multiple order thing - if Farnell are doing that then they are breaking the contract.

            1. The BigYin
              Thumb Up

              Re: Re: Re: @Bin Yin

              Thanks for the clarification! It was really not obvious on their site (wish I could edit my post now)

              On the site there are prices for 10+, but as the site is on i's ass just now it's kinda hard to test out.

              Still, it's just another thing that adds to the confusion.

              (Tiny brain, me)

            2. The BigYin

              @James Hughes 1

              "I'll check on the multiple order thing - if Farnell are doing that then they are breaking the contract."

              I know of at least one person who did a bulk order through Farnell. Just 2 units, and that's for pre-orders.

              Maybe that's OK, I don't know, I haven't seen the contract. But it is a further lack of consistency and is confusing to people with small brains (like me). If there is variation, you should make that clear and get your sellers to make it clear too.

              Just how hard would it be for Farnell to say "Prices include shipping, only bulk pre-orders allowed" (or whatever the rules may be)

              1. James Hughes 1

                Re: @James Hughes 1

                Agreed. Farnell have screwed up. The contract says one per person. Please blame Farnell for this. The foundation has been very clear on the number policy.

                1. The BigYin
                  Facepalm

                  Re: @James Hughes 1

                  I have a big stick you can borrow if you like. :)

                2. Arrrggghh-otron

                  Re: Re: @James Hughes 1

                  I accidentally ended up with two in my basket after trying to load multiple pages.

                  Still being the kind and considerate chap that I am went back though the whole slow and painful process to edit the qty in the basket (couldn't change it from the 'review order' page).

                  Was all excited when I saw that stock had been allocated to my order but then the delivery date shows as the end of March - I guess I missed out on the first batch, oh well.

          2. Can't think of anything witty...

            Re: Re: @Bin Yin

            just as an observation, isn't the difference between your prices the VAT? In the UK*, VAT is included at point of sale, so would that explain the discrepancy? 20% of 35 is 7, right?

            *(I'm assuming that you are in the UK from your name, but you know what they say about assuming...)

          3. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Re: @Bin Yin

            The Farnell price includes the shipping cost. R-Pi tweeted that they had checked this with them and it's OK.

            1. James Hughes 1

              Re: Re: Re: @Bin Yin

              Although the Farnell site did take multiple orders, they are being reduced to one per person post sale.

        2. TheGuv
          WTF?

          Re: @Bin Yin

          2) At Farnell, the price is £26.55 +VAT

          1. Roger Varley

            Re: Re: @Bin Yin

            According to the RaspberryPi twatter feed, the Farnell price is higher than the advertised price of the boards because it includes shipping.

      2. annodomini2

        @The BigYin

        1, All batch 1 are model B

        1. The BigYin

          @annodomini2

          Ta much - I'd forgotten that. But still, RS really should make it clear.

  7. Vic

    I'm going back to bed

    Farnell's site is properly titsup, RS has allowed me to "register an interest" on the third attempt ignoring all the timeouts...)

    RasPi's twitter feed says Farnell have sold out.

    Looks like that's all there is for today...

    Vic.

    1. jeffrey 1
      Unhappy

      Re: I'm going back to bed

      I managed to get to farnell at 6:04am, but by then it was preorders only.

      1. annodomini2

        Re: Re: I'm going back to bed

        I do get the impression it was the classic view of queuing up for days with the person at the front of the line going "Can I have 10000 please?"

        Next in queue, "Sold out sorry!"

  8. Tim Walker
    Meh

    Phew...

    Didn't get through to Farnell's site before it melted down, but managed to "register an interest" for a RasPi with RS (if that was the wrong page, where the flip was the right one?).

    I have a feeling I may be waiting a while longer for one of these little fellas than I anticipated... ah well, at least it proves there's interest in an ARM PC :-)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well have now placed an order with Farnell, but it's stating "Further stock available in 30 days"

  10. It'sa Mea... Mario
    Facepalm

    spent an hour trying to get through to either site on web and nearly an hour waiting for RS to answer the 0845 phone number... They just did.. just to say that they have come in a six this morning but know nothing about it or stock levels, try the website!!

    not chuffed :(

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Way to go RS and Farnell.

    Not only will your names be more widely known after today (for all the wrong reasons), you will have fewer happy customers among your traditional userbase (because they can't order stuff in the usual way).

    Don't attempt to claim you weren't warned either. Like most modern "management", I imagine you were warned and you chose to ignore the warnings and hope that all would somehow be well anyway, and/or that your incompetence would go unnoticed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I can imagine the scene...

      Management: "Oh yes, no problem - our systems are geared up to handle any level of traffic. Nothing to worry about."

      Their Web-folk: [check volume of "Raspberry_Pi" posts on TweetDeck, and think] "We're in big trouble."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RS and Farnell were warned

      the raspberry pi people say they warned RS and Farnell, who knows what RS and Farnell did with the warning.

      the raspberry pi people re-arranged their own websites to simple static pages hosted by a well known hosting outfit in anticipation of the load. The raspberry pi sites are still up.

      Farnell's website is still completely unresponsive. 0/10.

      RS still has a "we're offline, please phone your local orderlines" static front page. 2/10.

      The launch (and the associated sales website FAIL) has already featured on BBC Radio 4 morning news and the BBC News TV channel, and likely elsewhere.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: RS and Farnell were warned

        Yes, they were definitely told to expect a LOT of traffic.

        Obviously just not up to the job. Sorry everyone.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RS website now has a static frontpage

    "Thank you for visiting RS Components.

    We are currently experiencing technical difficulties with our website. You are still able to place your orders using the following order lines."

    Would a dedicated static frontpage with a "For RasPi, click here, or for RS Classic, click here" and a *simple* *separate* sit for RasPI have been any use in these circumstances?

    What (other than cluelessness and no budget allocated for prevention of PR disasters ) would stop a competent supplier from doing something like that?

  13. Bush_rat
    Angel

    Hoorah!

    Been watching this project for a while, now it's on sale! And not just that, they made the Model A with the same ram as the Model B! I think this project is awesome, for education it's an ICT unit/cheap computer lab(+the fees for cheap-o-bargin-bin screens and mice and keyboards) and for home it's a HTPC and mini Python/Linux dev box. I don't really care if the website is down right now, I've waited over 3 years for this, a few hours is nothing :)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Registered interest.

    Wonder if they'll ship it to my local branch so I can hover outside the door until opening time..

    I'm somewhere between annoyance that RS and Farnell crashed and massively impressed that Raspi achieved that because both those sites deal with *large* visitor numbers and to crash them must mean it's a huge hit.

    Perhaps, if the demand is UK demand, we're not quite as screwed as I thought we were.

  15. Bob Vistakin
    Pint

    If RS really do them at the promised $25 I'll use WP7 for a week

    And Vista on my home PC.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If RS really do them at the promised $25 I'll use WP7 for a week

      I think they will have to offer them at the prices that Raspberry Pi state; it will (or should be) be in their contract terms. They might try to stiff you on the exchange rate though; time will tell.

    2. annodomini2

      Re: If RS really do them at the promised $25 I'll use WP7 for a week

      Model A's are $25, all batch 1 are Model B's @ $35

    3. Dave Pickles

      Re: If RS really do them at the promised $25 I'll use WP7 for a week

      UKP 21.60 for the model B according to their website (ex-VAT of course). That's $34.40 at commercial exchange rates - just inside their $35 target..

    4. Kent Brockman

      Re: If RS really do them at the promised $25 I'll use WP7 for a week

      On the pre reg page for RS its listed as £21.60...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Learn from the Apple fanboys

    Forget about the web. Go and set up camp outside their front door!

  17. annodomini2
    Flame

    F**king Farnell

    Bumped the price up to £26.55+Vat already!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: F**king Farnell

      Be fair, they've got to pay for a Pentium IV to finally replace the 386 they've been using for a webserver since 1923.

    2. The BigYin
      Thumb Down

      Re: F**king Farnell

      Indeed. Tranche 2 will probably been even more expensive as they exploit supply/demand. I doubt RaspPi has much control over what they charge. So that's now US$42 for a model B (probably nearer US$50 as I don't think those sites include VAT).

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Re: F**king Farnell

        Bollocks. Raspberry Pi have entire control over how much they charge.

        1. Anomalous Cowturd
          Meh

          @James Hughes Re: F**king Farnell

          Farnell have invoiced me for £26.55 + VAT of £5.31 making a total of £31.86. (Further stock available in 30 days, or so it says.)

          RS have my registered interest at £21.60 with no mention of VAT or delivery costs. The very stressed lady on the phone said they would be on sale from 5th March... She didn't even have a part/item number for it...

          Thanks to every-one at the Pi shop, and try not to let the whingers get you all down. ;o)

  18. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Farnell

    Are at least open again, but as AD21 points out, it's thirty-one quid - and 'register interest' only.

  19. Aldous
    FAIL

    so much whining

    ummm so you didn't get one in round one so what? i usually get up at 6am the one day i decide to sleep in untill 8 this happens! i guess i will just HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE NEXT BATCH

    this isn't a 1 off never to be done again sale (i.e touchpads) its just the first phase and with this much intrest they will scale up production. stop bitching and be patient

    1. Eponymous Cowherd
      Thumb Up

      Re: so much whining

      Absolutely! What a lot of whiners.

      This is a brilliant piece of kit for the price (Register interest at RS priced at £21.60). Even if the price does, indeed, go up by 50% (or more) it still represents brilliant value for money.

      Quite happy to wait for the 2nd or 3rd batch to get my hands on one.

      1. Captain Underpants
        Thumb Up

        Re: Re: so much whining

        Heh, I've been resigned to waiting a while because I want half a dozen. One for my nephew to see if it gets him interested in tinkering (he's at the right age where something like this could bite him with the geek bug), and the other five for myself to build a tiny dev/learning network and learn how to break/fix DNS/DHCP/NIS/etc as implemented in Fedora...

  20. Pypes
    Trollface

    RS and Farnell?

    So I'M guessing the $25 price point is a no-go then.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and both their websites fall to pieces....doh!

  22. Hotears

    "Yay?" In Denmark, both Farnell and RS-Components are strictly B2B. So even if I want one to play with, they won't sell it to me.

  23. DrXym Silver badge

    $35 plus PSU plus case plus tax and shipping

    I think when you add it all up it won't be significantly cheaper than many media players which sport a similar SoC.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: $35 plus PSU plus case plus tax and shipping

      Perhaps, but how many media players can you gain low-level access to?

  24. qwertyqwe
    FAIL

    :(

    Top tips for releasing highly sought after products via the internet:

    1) Don't claim your webservers can handle anything and everything thrown at them, especially when you don't own them and have no direct control over them.

    2) Don't release products at 6am local time. Where are the sysadmins? In bed. Possibly awake knowing how busy they are going to be today, after marketing and management make claims like "our webservers can handle anything!".

    3) Think things through. Are the two websites in question (RS and Farnell) really going to be up to the job in hand? Yes, they are big companies, but I very much doubt they their web infrastructure sees frequent battering it going to get at this sort of event.

    4) Link directly to the product. Don't get customers to go to a website and start searching. It increases the load on the servers no end. The front page is likely going to be the most heavy page on the site, and getting everyone to start running searches isn't going to help either.

    5) Don't piss off your dealers. RS and Farnell are probably going to lose more money than they make through this exercise. Their 'proper', potentially large, customers are going to shop elsewhere, at least for today.

    I don't want to sound bitter. I just didn't get what I set my alarm for. I will keep trying at work, but I suspect the sites will either be down all day, or will sell out before I get my hands on one. Oh well.

    1. Captain Underpants

      Re: :(

      @qwertyqwe:

      Actually, you *did* get the announcement that Raspberry Pi promised you which is strictly speaking the reason for which you set your alarm.

      Not getting a guaranteed order for one of the first 10K units is a different matter, but then if both RS and Farnell have seen their sites falling over under the load I'm guessing there were >>10K people wanting one of those first 10K units, so plenty of folks walk away disappointed.

      Don't get me wrong, I think you make some good points (well, I disagree with 5, because $%^& 'em - if RS or Farnell didn't want to be dealing with this, they shouldn't have agreed to carry the fscking thing. It's nobody's fault but their own if they totally failed to correctly plan for demand on a highly-anticipated product). But this is, fundamentally, a first-wave release of a gadget. Nobody was holding any guns to anyone's head, so let's park the disappointment and the entitlement issues and act like mature human beings. (YEah, I know, that's not what the internet is for, etc...)

      1. James Hughes 1

        Farnell and RS were warned to expect a lot of traffic. At least 100k people have expressed an interest in the device, so there are bound to be 9/10 people who didn't get what they wanted - but that should have been expected. My guestimate is that probably 150-200k people were trying to get the device at 6 this morning.

        RS/Farnell They absolutely promised they would be able to handle the load. The RaspberryPi foundation are pretty pissed off about what has happened here - yet another broken promise, but at least its on sale now, and large scale production is up and running.

  25. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. QuietLeni
    Holmes

    BBC Micro?

    What are they trying to link Raspberry Pi to? Model A and Model B? Anyone else have a BBC MIcro Model A or B?

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: BBC Micro?

      David Braben (of "Elite" fame) is one of the people behind this project - the model designations are a reflection of the influence of the Beeb on his career (and how he hopes the RasPi will be used).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: BBC Micro?

      <<< THIS

  27. Snowy Silver badge
    WTF?

    One per customer

    and someone has already put 10+ up on Ebay for £39.99

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: One per customer

      Not sure where they are getting their supply from, so I would avoid buying from Ebay for the moment

      1. Jess--

        Re: Re: One per customer

        now 2 listings on ebay, one at £44.99 and one at £49.99

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re: Re: One per customer

          What an utter bastard!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          The eBayers can go hang

          So, eBay sellers: you were lucky enough to bag one or more RasPis (thus effectively denying the machines to others who might actually, um, USE them), and you now have the brass neck to try and flog them to line your own pockets, instead of benefitting the charity behind the RasPi.

          Yes, well, it's a free-market economy, so therefore I will exercise my consumer rights and wait a bit longer for the opportunity to buy a RasPi the "proper" way. I want one, but not enough to enrich a bunch of eBay scalpers.

          (If I could combine the "V For Vendetta" mask with the "flame" icon, I would ;-) )

          1. James Hughes 1

            Re: The eBayers can go hang

            Actually, it's pretty unlikely they will get the number of devices they claim to be able to sell, so caveat emptor.

    2. Anonymous Coward 15

      Re: One per customer

      Why didn't they organise similar restrictions to what eBay do with charity event tickets and major launches like iPhone/PS3- more stringent requirements on the seller, safer *cough* payments by PayPal only, restrictions on the number you can sell, must donate 20% to the charity?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Every cloud...

    RS and Farnell may be embarrassed that their servers collapsed under the load but I bet that RS has doubled the size of its mailing list and Farnell may also do so once their login page starts responding again.

    I'm trying to login to fr.farnell.com which Netcraft tells me uses Akamai, but "The proxy server did not receive a timely response from the upstream server."

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Every cloud...

      They may be embarrassed but the load was considerably more than anyone expected.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh goody, after many reloads got my Farnell order in at at 7am so as expecting the worst, however just got an email from them claiming it will be delivered on 12/3.

    I wonder if anyone will actually get it sooner than this.

    1. TheGuv
      Meh

      @metavisor 16 April for me - eventually got an order placed at 0815 :(

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it really is back to the early 80s

    the vapourware has sold out!!

    When's my transputer-based Atari going to ship?

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: it really is back to the early 80s

      I getting a bit fed up with this vapourware bollocks. It is NOT vapourware. The first batch have been manufactured and are on their way to distribution RIGHT NOW.

      So retract your AC head from your arse, and smell the fresh air. And stop being a c**t.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: it really is back to the early 80s

        Pics or didn't happen.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: it really is back to the early 80s

        jeez man, look up irony in a dictionary ffs

      3. SYNTAX__ERROR
        Flame

        @ James Hughes

        James, we have been expecting this product for a while now. Several deadlines have been missed and information has been sketchy.

        When some are actually available for sale those who have parted with their cash have been told they MIGHT expect delivery in what, oh, about SIX WEEKS?

        Then we learn via Twitter that they have not arrived from Asia yet and they still need to clear customs. To me this way of dealing with customers stinks of dishonesty.

        When we see some pictures of a customer in the UK holding one of these mythical devices, that's when a sensible person will part with their money. Can't show me that picture? Then it is vapourware for now.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would it be a good idea if

    a little two-bit start-up developed a BASIC interpreter for this?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Would it be a good idea if

      Already there for the taking...

      Brandy (faithful BBC basic clone): sourceforge.net/projects/brandy/

      1. Arbuthnot Darjeeling

        Re: Basic

        yay - thank you for that info!!

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It looks like Farnell are hosting either with Kingston Comms (unlikely) or trying to DIY on a Kingston line - would explain why their site is always so shoddy for responsiveness, wouldn't surprise me if they're trying to get away with a 2Mb SDSL! :D

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Foundation should consider pulling the licenses from Farnell and RS

    They have both made major screwups of the launch, and I'm not even talking about server capacity.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Double standards

    All you people on here calling the Raspberry Pi a computer are the same people who state the iPad is NOT a computer.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Double standards

      You can compile the RasPi OS self-hosting on a RasPi. (If you've got enough time, that is.) You can't compile the iPad OS self-hosting on an iPad.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Double standards

      The real question left hanging from the other thread is if the RaspberryPi is a PC.

      My take is if you connect it to a TV and don't live alone it's not personal anymore.

      1. Tim Parker

        Re: Re: Double standards

        "The real question left hanging from the other thread is if the RaspberryPi is a PC."

        No it's not - there is one person on this forum who doesn't seem to understand what a computer is, the rest of the posters seem to at least have a non-negative IQ.

        "My take is if you connect it to a TV and don't live alone it's not personal anymore."

        Fantastic. Great. Marvellous. I hope you and your 'take' have a happy life together elsewhere. If you believe in yourself, and your point of view, so little that you have to post as an AC - you might want to just not bother next time.

      2. Marty
        Headmaster

        Re: Re: Double standards

        oh ffs....

        go and read a book about the history of computing, and you will get where the title "PC" as in personal Computer comes from...

        here a hint,,, its a computer that one user uses at a time, not a time share on a mainframe...

        back in the day, Sinclair Sprectum, zx81, BBC A & B, Acorn electron, Commodore vic20 & C64 and the rest of the "home computers" as in you could use it at home, all commandeered the telly, but were all still personal computers...

        its nonsense like this, is exactly why we need a product like the RasPi on the market today. Maybe people will learn about exactly what a computer is and what you can do with it, other than troll on forums and knock one out while browsing redtube...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re: Re: Double standards

          So if I use my raspberry Pi (arriving next week - suckers) to watch Redtube on the telly with my GF does it count as a personal computer?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @(arriving next week - suckers)

            I bet you $35 it does not.

    3. James Hughes 1

      Re: Double standards

      The Rapsi is a computer (perhaps even a PC!), so is the iPad.

      Not sure what the issue is!

    4. Tim Parker

      Re: Double standards

      "All you people on here calling the Raspberry Pi a computer are the same people who state the iPad is NOT a computer....."

      For goodness sake, do stop talking such utter drivel (Pete 2 perhaps, just trying to avoid the down votes against the name ?).

  35. Anonymous Coward 15
    Devil

    Farnell link from RasPi homepage now leads through to a "Register your interest" page

    And "By providing your contact details you are agreeing for your details to be used for marketing purposes by companies within the Premier Farnell Group."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Farnell link from RasPi homepage now leads through to a "Register your interest" page

      "used for marketing purposes"

      Yep, that's when I left. It's one way to reduce the crush, I suppose.

  36. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Oh this takes me back

    We all remember waiting, and waiting, and waiting to get a Sinclair computer delivered via mail order, don't we?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh this takes me back

      I went for the Spectrum and got it from WH Smiths.

      Much easier popping into them than buying a RPi this morning!

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Oh this takes me back

      hah, I remember waiting for a Sinclair _calculator_ (kit, no less) to be delivered. £14.99 at 1976-ish prices, what's that today? More than a Raspberry Pi, that's for sure. Wonder if my Mum knows how much I really appreciated that present? Must tell her :)

  37. Ben Holmes
    Happy

    Managed to get order in with Farnell at 11:48 after many delays, for the £30-ish price quoted above. Expected delivery on 16th April. I'm OK with that. Why? Because it means that the vast number of people who said they were interested, were genuinely interested in buying one.

    Which can only be a good thing.

  38. The Serpent

    The whole thing looks like something that came to the table at the 11th hour and thus has more than a slight niff of cock-up about it.

    But unfortunately, RasPi acted like a small company just when they needed to become a much bigger one.

    Unless Farnell and RS could prove they had the grunt to handle this, they should always have stuck to the plan and put off the big distributors until round 2. My guess is that Raspberry Pi were wowed by the offer from some large distributors (who had only just heard about the project when the news coverage started ramping up) and grabbed the opportunity for fear that wouldn't get a second poke later on.

    RP obviously had doubts about their ability to handle the traffic or they wouldn't have handed it over and trusted that a big name supplier = big website capacity.

    It's a shame they apparently hadn't consulted anyone who runs web services with significant activity spikes. I'm sure today's meetings will now descend into the usual spasms of paranoia and trips into side-issues while trying to avoid the fact that what you really needed to do was spend a ridiculous amount of money on web infrastructure that can handle the spikes, acknowledge that it will usually lay practically dormant and then be decommissioned for something cheaper when the fuss dies down.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Very true.

      I understand that Farnell and RS are probably in a better position to handle the whole process from manufacturer to delivery, leaving RaspberryPi themselves free of logistics concerns, but it's a shame the initial run couldn't be on sale on places like Amazon who can handle spikes with their hands tied behind their back.

      Not that I'm personally affected, thanks to super-fast Internet at work and an existing account at Farnell I got one of the first units as the servers began to crumble, it's just that the experience would be much better.

      1. James Hughes 1

        I'd be interested to know...

        What peak Amazon spikes are like - is that the load oover the whole website, or peaks for a specific product? The spike on the Raspi was pretty high, but I am pretty sure Amazon could have coped. Although going with Amazon and the Foundation would have lost money on each sale.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'd be interested to know...

          I think Amazon's costs could just be added as shipping costs, like Farnell did. Glacing at Fulfilment by Amazon prices It wouldn't be that much different, maybe £2-3 more if that.

          Given they also have special payment arrangements for charities I suspect even better conditions could be negotiated.

    2. Weird_George

      "Unless Farnell and RS could prove they had the grunt to handle this,"

      Is there an established recognized method by which they could have proved they had the grunt? Maybe the foundation could have initiated DDOS attacks on their partners websites ahead of launch just to check.

      "...they should always have stuck to the plan and put off the big distributors until round 2.

      So they would have sold them, how? Via their own website, which they knew wouldn't handle the traffic?

      "...while trying to avoid the fact that what you really needed to do was spend a ridiculous amount of money on web infrastructure that can handle the spikes"

      Are you missing the part where the Raspberry Pi foundation is charity run by volunteered who largely self financed their first production run and don't have 'ridiculous amount of money'? Why would RS or Farnell spend 'ridiculous amount of money' just to handle the traffic generated for a few hours by interest in one single product amongst everything they sell?

      1. The Serpent

        "Is there an established recognized method by which they could have proved they had the grunt?"

        Yes. It's called profiling. In this case you might start by producing the specifications used when Farnell/RS procured their web service + any upgrades since. Then you compare them to the expected volume of interest in Raspberry Pi. If it looks likely to meet demand, you do some load testing to make sure. If it fails, you either upgrade and retest or find another host and start again. Do you think no one does this? Do you think, say, Netflix just kept bringing in servers one by one until the site worked?

        "Maybe the foundation could have initiated DDOS attacks on their partners websites ahead of launch just to check"

        Of course, that's the only conclusion you could come to if you don't know what you're talking about.

        "So they would have sold them, how? Via their own website, which they knew wouldn't handle the traffic?"

        Introduce multiple release dates? The oversubscription of the first batch was never in doubt, my point is that this part of the project is amateurish. If you can't handle the big hit, all you can do is spread it out.

        "Are you missing the part where the Raspberry Pi foundation is charity run by volunteered who largely self financed their first production run and don't have 'ridiculous amount of money'? "

        No. Are you aware that everything is given to charities willingly and that the risk of running a charity is that if it can't find the resources it needs, it results in problems?

        "Why would RS or Farnell spend 'ridiculous amount of money' just to handle the traffic generated for a few hours by interest in one single product amongst everything they sell?"

        Oh, I don't know, how about so they can conduct their business?

        Also, I'm sorry your attention was drawn to my habit of being slow to spot spelling mistakes, but if you want to make a feature of it and quote an example twice, you use quote marks. That's why they're called quote marks.

        1. James Hughes 1

          How would multiple release dates help? You announce two dates, everyone wants to buy on the first one anyway.

          As it happens the demand far exceeded even the wildest predictions, so it would have been difficult to get the right level of supplier support anyway.

          Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

          1. The Serpent

            Such is the shit-sucker situation of running a busy web service. Profiling provides you with something better than a guess, then it's up to you how much extra you add on until you feel comfortable with the capacity. All of which costs.

            Or you could further mitigate the situation by seeing if someone like Amazon will tell you the kind of throughput they got when a new Harry Potter book was launched and work off that. It's just borrowing someone elses profile. However Amazon are unlikely to respond to you and a consultation firm offering the same kind of info will also charge you lots.

            After that you are left with, as I said, trying to spread the load. Multiple release dates are far from ideal but if you only have Hobson's choice available to you then that's your lot.

            I love hindsight too, it probably gives us 50% of the reasons to have discussion forums.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Do you think no one does [profiling]?"

          James is presumably trying not to upset RaspI's "business partners", so maybe I'll say it...

          Looks like some more people should look into profiling. Or at least into contingency planning.

          Farnell were basically off the air till lunchtime.

          RS were some way ahead of them, they at least had a static page as their front page early on.

          If these outfits want to do life on the cheap by not spending on kit for spikes and not spending on profiling (which may be understandable in their kind of business), they should at least make sure they have a contingency plan.

          RS eventually got round to emergency measures (a static page saying "please phone our orderline") in early office hours UK time.

          Farnell were still completely unresponsive at lunchtime, which will not come as a surprise to frequent users of their comprehensive but rather clunky (being polite here) website.

  39. armyknife

    Cashing In On Ebay.

    One of the two 'sellers' on ebay, had on offer 49, which sold out by 11.30am. Have a look at what he sold them for:

    http://offer.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBidsLogin&_trksid=p4340.l2564&rt=nc&item=290677406685

    But according to the firs feedback he's recieved, he's been let down by his suppliers !

    Hopefully he's going to get his fingers burnt over this and his feedback trashed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cashing In On Ebay

      If this lowlife seller is ever caught by the 49-odd honest RasPi-seekers whom (s)he effectively cheated out of a fair punt at buying one (assuming the seller secured them to begin with), the trashing of his/her eBay rating is likely to be the least of the individual's concerns...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: Cashing In On Ebay

        Please sir I cannot tell a lie it Barry Shitpeas did it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re: Re: Cashing In On Ebay

          Barry 500 Lines. Don't be a raspberry scalper.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cashing In On Ebay.

      Hopefully those 49 are the muppets who saw this on slickdeals or hotukdeals and not the Foundation's audience.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meh

    I went to buy one but didn't like the colour.

    I'll wait for the white version.

  41. daviduk

    Element14

    Element 14 is mentioned as being a re-seller... funnily enough there was a company called Element 14 that was spun-off from Acorn Computers... related?

    Rather apt if this is correct :)

    1. Vic

      Re: Element14

      > there was a company called Element 14 that was spun-off from Acorn Computers.

      Quite a large part of it actually came from ST in Bristol.

      > Rather apt if this is correct

      It isn't, I'm afraid. I made much the same gaffe at a trade show. I was busy asking the salesdroid if he knew all me former oppos, only to find out that the two organisations are entirely unrelated.

      Vic.

      1. daviduk

        Re: Re: Element14

        Hmmm - does seem to be a connection with ST according to the "may-or-may-not-be-accurate" Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acorn_Computers#Final_restructuring_and_Element_14_Ltd_.281998.E2.80.932000.29

        Either way, it's quite a nice semi-connection

        1. Vic

          Re: Re: Re: Element14

          > does seem to be a connection with ST

          The initial ideas came form Simon Knowles, who was part of the Chameleon library team.

          I was the third guy to join the original group...

          Vic.

        2. Chris Evans

          Re: Element14 , E14 Inc, Broadcom & Acorn

          In addition to the Element 14 (Farnell) name connection the Element 14 (E14 inc) that was split off from Acorn was bought up by Broadcom who designed the BCM2835 chip (AcornRiscMachine[1] CPU) in the RPi!

          How many if any of the original e14 Inc employees are at Broadcom and if any of them are involved in the BCM2835 it would be interesting to know?

          I don't think any of the Foundation were involved in Acorn or E14 Inc.

          As a director of RISCOS Ltd I was involved in the negotiations for the RISC OS license from Element14 as the breakup to E14 Inc and Pace was taking place.

          [1] Yes the name change from Acorn Risc Machine to Advanced Risc Machine had allready occured at the establishment of ARM PLC, but I included it for nostalga!

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